Renting an RV in Calgary
If you are not in the market to purchase an RV but want to camp in style, why not rent an RV? Renting is a great alternative to purchasing, and allows you to join the many Alberta parks and campgrounds that the province has to offer.
Calgary has a lot of RV rentals to select from with different rates, amenities, and benefits – so it can be tough to narrow down your choices. Overwhelmed? Don’t be. RV Direct is here to give you tips on exactly what you need to know about renting an RV in Calgary.
Prepare the right questions. Figure out what type and size of RV you need
Preparing the right questions is important to get the right RV for your vacation. The first step is to figure out what type and size of RV you need. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where will you be staying?
- Are there any restrictions on the length of the RV (think parking spots, campsites, driving comfort)?
- What kind of activities will you be doing?
- How many people will you need to sleep?
- What sort of amenities or features do you require?
- Do you have a tow vehicle, and if yes, how much can it comfortably tow?
- Do you need to accommodate pets?
- Are you aware of all of Calgary’s bylaws related to recreational vehicles?
This list is just a starting point. It will help you figure out if you need a motorhome or trailer and how big of an RV you’ll need for everyone on the trip. It’s also helpful to figure out if you’ll need a working bathroom or shower in your RV or if that will be available at the campground. Finally, it’s important to figure out what you need to bring or if you need an RV to be stocked with camping equipment so you can cook, lounge, and enjoy your trip. If you need additional resources, check out our spring checklist for RVers in Alberta.
Establish a budget
Before you head out on your trip or choose an RV to rent in Calgary, ensure that you are budgeting appropriately. The cost of your RV vacation is more than the rental fee. You’ll need to consider:
- Rental fees
- Cost of gas
- Campsite fees
- Emergency expenses (just in case you have a flat tire or the weather is terrible)
- Gear (if you need to purchase any for the trip)
Make a budget as soon as possible so that you won’t be left floundering when the time comes to head out.
Choose a reputable renter.
There are many people who rent out their RVs in Calgary. Unfortunately, not all of them are reputable. RV Direct Insurance has partnered with Outdoorsy, which is like AirBnB for RVs. This allows our customers to list their RVs and ensure both they and their renters are protected.
There are also a few dealerships and campgrounds in and around Calgary that will rent out RVs. This can be another good option.
Finally, there are private rentals available. These are often advertised on sites like Facebook or Kijiji. These can be legitimate but can also be scammed; they may also not have the proper insurance coverage.
Understand the fine print
It’s important to understand the fine print of your rental agreement. Make sure you know who’s responsible for what including what happens if there’s an accident, damage, or you need to cancel your trip or end it early. Make sure you understand all the fees and if there are any additional charges for things like cleaning or repairs. Finally, make sure you understand any rules or instructions for using the RV.
Keep in mind that most RV insurance policies do not cover rentals without an endorsement. This endorsement will usually allow rentals through a platform like Outdoorsy. Alternatively, a dealership will have a commercial policy that should cover the RV. While insurance on a trailer isn’t mandatory, it is for a motorhome as you’ll be driving on public roads.
Take a few photos and videos of the RV when you pick it up. You should do an exterior and interior walk-around, noting if there’s any damage. The owner should walk you through how to operate any appliances, slide-outs, showers, and awnings.
Get a copy of the rental agreement and insurance policy if you can. Make sure to have all communications in writing, even if it’s to follow up on a verbal agreement.
Enjoy your trip!
Once you’ve chosen an RV rental that you’re happy with and all your family is satisfied with the decision, it’s time to get on your way. Remember to enjoy the experience and know that everything may not go according to plan! It’ll get easier the more used to renting RVs you get, and who knows? You may even decide that you eventually want to go a step beyond simply renting and end up purchasing your own. If you do decide to make the jump and purchase, check out our guide on questions to ask before buying an RV!
Note that self-propelled RVs, or motorhomes, will require motorhome insurance in Calgary! Discuss with RV Direct about rental insurance for non-owned RVs.